exact

verb
ex·​act | \ ig-ˈzakt How to pronounce exact (audio) \
exacted; exacting; exacts

Definition of exact

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to call for forcibly or urgently and obtain from them has been exacted the ultimate sacrifice— D. D. Eisenhower
2 : to call for as necessary or desirable

exact

adjective

Definition of exact (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : exhibiting or marked by strict, particular, and complete accordance with fact or a standard
2 : marked by thorough consideration or minute measurement of small factual details

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Other Words from exact

Verb

exactable \ ig-​ˈzak-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce exactable (audio) \ adjective
exactor or less commonly exacter \ ig-​ˈzak-​tər How to pronounce exacter (audio) \ noun

Adjective

exactness \ ig-​ˈzak(t)-​nəs How to pronounce exactness (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for exact

Verb

demand, claim, require, exact mean to ask or call for something as due or as necessary. demand implies peremptoriness and insistence and often the right to make requests that are to be regarded as commands. demanded payment of the debt claim implies a demand for the delivery or concession of something due as one's own or one's right. claimed the right to manage his own affairs require suggests the imperativeness that arises from inner necessity, compulsion of law or regulation, or the exigencies of the situation. the patient requires constant attention exact implies not only demanding but getting what one demands. exacts absolute loyalty

Adjective

correct, accurate, exact, precise, nice, right mean conforming to fact, standard, or truth. correct usually implies freedom from fault or error. correct answers socially correct dress accurate implies fidelity to fact or truth attained by exercise of care. an accurate description exact stresses a very strict agreement with fact, standard, or truth. exact measurements precise adds to exact an emphasis on sharpness of definition or delimitation. precise calibration nice stresses great precision and delicacy of adjustment or discrimination. makes nice distinctions right is close to correct but has a stronger positive emphasis on conformity to fact or truth rather than mere absence of error or fault. the right thing to do

Do you exact or extract revenge?

Verb

The verb exact (as in, "exacting revenge" or "exacting a promise") is not as commonly encountered as the adjective exact, (as in "an exact copy" or "exact measurements"). Sometimes people will mistakenly use the more common verb extract when they really want exact. Extract can refer to removing something by pulling or cutting or to getting information from someone who does not want to give it. While both words refer to getting something they are used in different ways. You extract a tooth, but you exact revenge.

Did You Know?

Verb

Exact derives from a form of the Latin verb exigere, meaning "to drive out, to demand, or to measure." (Another descendant of exigere is the word exigent, which can mean "demanding" or "requiring immediate attention.") Exigere, in turn, was formed by combining the prefix ex- with the verb agere, meaning "to drive." Agere has been a very prolific source of words for English speakers; it is the ancestor of agent, react,mitigate, and navigate, just to name a few. Incidentally, if you are looking for a synonym of the verb exact, you could try demand, call for,claim, or require.

Examples of exact in a Sentence

Verb They would not rest until they had exacted revenge. He was able to exact a promise from them. Adjective Those were his exact words. The exact cause of the fire is still under investigation. We don't know the exact nature of the problem. Predicting the path of hurricanes is not an exact science. The police have an exact description of the killer. Please take the most exact measurements possible. He is very exact in the way he solves a problem.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb For some, no punishment short of the Eagles terminating his contract could exact appropriate justice. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, "Opinion: DeSean Jackson's anti-Semitic social media posts provide painful yet important lesson for all of us," 11 July 2020 State revenues spiked because of the post-Hurricane Katrina rebuilding boom, and Republicans were able to exact concessions from the Democratic governor in exchange for their votes to lift the cap. David Jacobs, Washington Examiner, "Proposed Louisiana constitutional amendment could limit government growth," 6 July 2020 The coronavirus continued to exact a deadly toll in San Antonio on the Fourth of July as city officials reported five new deaths and 341 new cases. Diego Mendoza-moyers, ExpressNews.com, "Five more coronavirus deaths, 341 new cases in Bexar County," 4 July 2020 President Trump is calling on officials to exact legal revenge on whoever leaked the details of his trip to the White House bunker on May 29 as hundreds of demonstrators protesting George Floyd's death gathered in the streets outside. Katherine Doyle, Washington Examiner, "Trump wants to prosecute whoever leaked his bunker visit," 18 June 2020 Kansas exacted a measure of revenge in 2003, when the two programs met again in the national semifinal. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The Next Ten: Marquette dismisses Kansas to reach the 1974 NCAA championship game," 29 May 2020 The virus exacted an especially vicious toll on Trump’s hometown of New York City and its surrounding suburbs, killing more than 21,000. Carla K. Johnson, Susan Haigh And Lisa Marie Pane, Houston Chronicle, "US death toll from coronavirus surges past 100,000 people," 28 May 2020 But the coronavirus is exacting a heavy toll on the economy, which contracted by 6.8 percent in the first quarter. Anna Fifield, Washington Post, "With political theater, China’s leaders try to show the country is back to normal," 20 May 2020 The virus has exacted a personal toll on Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Democrat of California, who sits on the subcommittee. Grace Segers, CBS News, "Watch live: House coronavirus subcommittee holds first briefing on reopening the economy," 13 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective This officer can now go to another department and do the exact same thing. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, "Hoover police officer fired over Facebook photo of protester in crosshairs," 27 June 2020 Everyone was swooning over Chris Tarrant, and the exact same thing happened when Michael Sheen walked into the room. Ruth Kinane, EW.com, "Quiz writer James Graham on the Ingrams' guilt or innocence: 'I kind of stopped caring'," 15 June 2020 Mining is one of Arizona's five economic pillars — copper to be exact — and now another metal, gold, is stirring controversy. Mark Olalde, USA TODAY, "Climate Point: Mining from the Amazon to Arizona," 11 July 2020 For example, there seems to be plenty of money in the coffers—over $740 billion, to be exact—for the Pentagon. J.c. Pan, The New Republic, "There’s No Such Thing as Pandemic Austerity for Billionaires," 10 July 2020 The iPad Pro boasts ultra-impressive processing power thanks to some stellar technology (an A12Z chipset and AI core, to be exact). Jason Cipriani, CNN Underscored, "The best tablets of 2020," 9 July 2020 Putting aside the obvious size difference—three times larger than bay scallops, to be exact—sea scallops have a chewier texture as well. Mary Tomlinson, Southern Living, "Sea Scallops vs. Bay Scallops: What's the Difference?," 2 July 2020 And with so many rave reviews—889 to be exact—who wouldn’t want to give this affordable swap a try? Braelyn Wood, Health.com, "Cerave Eye Repair Cream Is Officially an Amazon Best-Seller—and It’s Only $10," 2 July 2020 That’s the exact opposite of the Confederate memorials that rose as whites in the South pushed to re-segregate Blacks and deprive them of their voting rights. John King, SFChronicle.com, "Toppled SF monuments signal larger social changes about how and what we memorialize," 25 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'exact.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of exact

Verb

1564, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1533, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for exact

Verb

Middle English exacten "to require as payment," borrowed from Latin exāctus, past participle of exigere "to drive out, achieve, enforce payment of or the performance of (a task), require, inquire into, examine" from ex- ex- entry 1 + agere "to drive (cattle), be in motion, do, perform" — more at agent

Adjective

borrowed from Latin exāctus, from past participle of exigere "to drive out, achieve, require, inquire into, examine, measure" — more at exact entry 1

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Time Traveler for exact

Time Traveler

The first known use of exact was in 1533

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Statistics for exact

Last Updated

24 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Exact.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exact. Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for exact

exact

verb
How to pronounce exact (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of exact

 (Entry 1 of 2)

formal
: to demand and get (something, such as payment or revenge) especially by using force or threats
used in phrases like exact a terrible toll and exact a high/heavy price to say that something has caused a lot of suffering, loss, etc.

exact

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of exact (Entry 2 of 2)

: fully and completely correct or accurate
: very careful and accurate

exact

adjective
ex·​act | \ ig-ˈzakt How to pronounce exact (audio) \

Kids Definition of exact

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: completely correct or precise : accurate an exact copy the exact time

Other Words from exact

exactly adverb
exactness noun

exact

verb
exacted; exacting

Kids Definition of exact (Entry 2 of 2)

: to demand and get by force or threat They exacted terrible revenge.

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More from Merriam-Webster on exact

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for exact

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with exact

Spanish Central: Translation of exact

Nglish: Translation of exact for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of exact for Arabic Speakers

Comments on exact

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